I’m occasionally asked about my thought process when shooting. I would hear the same question when watching photography video tutorial. When I was just starting up, that’s what I always ask every time I meet somebody I look up to. When learning photography the photos are output of the photographer’s creative process.
In my experience teaching and practicing photography myself, there’s two type of photographers. One is the type who creates the moment and the other one finds the moment. I’ve been in this art long enough to know that I belong to the one who creates it. I’ve seen my photography student and those I know who belongs to the finding the moment type.
I’m the type who imagine the shot and creates it by finding the right location, model, outfit and shooting it with the right pose and emotion. I try to relate everything from what I have envisioned and allow the other creatives in the team to add to the theme. Planning and imagination is the main ingredient in what I do.
There are photographers both students and professionals who can just pick a spot from a random location and capture a beautiful frame with less planning and imagination. They are the ones who finds a gem in every situation. They have a faster processor that allow them to compose, set the right exposure and finds the best angle all happening while in action.
Although both type of photographers crosses the other side, they are more effective though in their dominant creative side. I can shoot like finding the moment style with less planning and preparation and get a decent and acceptable output but I wouldn’t expect it to be spectacular.
If you know you’re strength, polish it and develop your weak side as well.
When I plan and envision an image for my shoot, I don’t imagine a particular shot. I imagine a feeling. I then try to find the right image that would visualize that feeling. From there, I add the details like the outfit, location, model, makeup and how the light should come out. This is where the team come in and adds creative inputs. For commissioned shoot, the client’s vision is incorporated in the creative process.
During the shoot, I allow the vision to grow and develop but only within the limits of the theme. You don’t stop until you get closer to the image you have envisioned. It’s a very intense and fun experience finding the right shot that would visually represent the feelings that you have imagined.
The creative process may change from one photographer to the other, may you be the creating the moment type of the one who finds it. It’s an endless road when you choose to be a creative, it’s actually the journey and not the destination.
Keep on shooting everyone!